Battle of the BBQ Sauce

We’re back from our family vacation, and we’re working our way through unpacking suitcases, restocking groceries, and running errands. Since summer is in full swing, and it’s BBQ season, I thought you might enjoy a re-print of my Battle of the BBQ Sauces post…

I’ll admit it… I have a love affair with BBQ sauce. It’s my favorite condiment, better even than ketchup, and running neck-and-neck with honey mustard. I never realized how many local BBQ joints we have in Alabama until I moved to Mississippi many moons ago and there were very few. I realize that people in Mississippi will not agree that there are “very few”, but compared to what we have in Alabama it’s true. In Mississippi, you have fish camps, and oh what a delight they are!! But in Alabama, you have BBQ.
Since this weekend was Father’s Day and we conned Jonathan into smoking baby back ribs for HIS day, we decided to have a BBQ sauce showdown. I wanted to know once and for all who was in fact, king of the sauce. Here are the contestants…
They each have their own unique flavor, and for each type of sauce, you can find several thousand people who will say that it is their favorite. While they each have their merit, I will now announce MY personal top five. We’ll start with the fourth runner up – Big Bob Gibson’s Original White Sauce.
I have never been to an actual Big Bob Gibson’s establishment, but I understand he runs quite a show in the Decatur, Alabama area. Big Bob has two contestants in this BBQ pageant. His white sauce is mayonnaise-y and vinegar-y. It was my least favorite on the smoked ribs, but I think it would be delightful on grilled or smoked chicken.
Our third runner up is… Demetri’s!
Demetri’s BBQ is located in Homewood, a suburb of Birmingham. we have eaten in their restaurant several times, and the food is very good. Demetri’s BBQ sauce is heavy on the tomato and heavy on the vinegar. No sweetness here at all. It’s a bit smokey. Not a bad sauce if you like more of a vinegar-y sauce.
The second runner up honor goes to… Golden Rule!
My daddy used to take me to Golden Rule when I was a little girl, and I always liked their food. When I was young, they had two or three restaurants in town, but now they have a chain of almost twenty stores in Alabama and Tennessee. They must be doing something right! Their sauce is tomato-ey, a tiny bit sweet, and not too vinegar-y. It’s Jonathan’s favorite.
The first runner up, and the one who will carry out the duties of the BBQ sauce queen should she not be able to fulfill her saucey duties, is… Big Bob Gibson’s red sauce!
Big Bob’s red sauce is a nice, thick sauce. It’s sweet, but not terribly so. It has a bit of spice to it. Not a lot of vinegar, but just enough to let you know it’s there. This is really a delicious sauce!
But there is only one BBQ sauce queen! She has been my favorite since I was in college. i gave the other contestants a fair shot, but none cold overcome the beauty of our winner… Costa’s Original!
Oh, Costa’s! How many calories and fat grams have you cost me over the years? I don’t really want to know. Costa’s is a very sweet and tangy sauce. It’s a little spicy. It has the perfect combination of flavors to make me come back again and again. Congratulations to the Costa’s gang for a lovely flavor!


  1. I saw your comment on Mary’s site and stopped by to visit. I love this post. ๐Ÿ™‚ As we live in Decatur I was so glad to see Big Bob Gibsons mentioned. You are right, the White Sauce is our must have for chicken. I have tried all of these except for your winner! Can you buy it in the grocery store? I will be on the lookout because as you say, Alabamians love their BBQ! ๐Ÿ™‚ Nice to meet you.

    • thehillhangout says

      Hi, Karen! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, you can buy Costa’s sauce in the grocery, but all stores don’t carry it. In Birmingham, it’s sold at Piggly Wiggly.

  2. This post is making me hungry! Now, I’m a Texas girl and I’m a little picky about my BBQ so I’m going to try to find some of those sauces here. I found you from the Monday Mingle and I’m your newest follower! Excited to get to “know” you!

    Viv @

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